tv Inside Story Al Jazeera May 3, 2014 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
humans kill 40 a year. thanks for watching al jazeera america. inside story is coming up next. follow us at al jazeera.com. in ukraine things sped past the stage where two groups of heavily armed men glare at each other of the now they are killing each other and eastern ukraine is looking more ungovernable. it's "inside story." ♪ music ] hello, i'm ray
suarez, for weeks there has been little you could say about the situation in ukraine that would stand up for more than 24 hours. it's been a moving target. hard to predict and define. think, in five months it's moved from a tilt towards moscow in kiev to counterdemonstrations that pulled down the government of viktor yanukovych to a creeping russia, to the eruption of protests across eastern ukraine, to what we have today, a situation inching closer to all-out fighting to russian alined irregular forces and ukranian military forces. as uptions and storming the buildings spread, the kiev government threatened retaliation and publicly acknowledged it lost before the fighting began. when the ukrainian government
fought back, russia, a foreign country, warned ukraine about trying to reoccupy its open government buildings on its own soil. the tempo of fighting is increasing and people continue to die. >> reporter: pro-russian forces brought down two military helicopters in slovyansk - one using a sophisticated surface-to-air missile. this man is said to be a survivor. two other helicopter crew members were killed, along with a pro-russian militiaman. it was the first sign of the kiev government's counteroffensive to reclaim the eastern part of the country. >>. >> operations are ongoing, casualties mounting as an offensive against the pro-russian insurgency unfolds. by early evening you withdrawn's acting president a -- ukraine's acting president announced his
forces were in charge of all check points. >> translation: all fortifications, firing positions and checkpoints of terrorists have been seized. the city of slovyansk is encircled. the fingerprintsive will continue. the criminal suffered losses during the operation as many died, were wounded and arrested. as violence escalated, the east and west were swift to react. president vladimir putin calls for an emergency meeting at the u.n. scoup -- security council , where russia is a permanent member. the president says ukraine destroyed the agreement meant to calm tensions. >> translation: if the criminal misadventures of the kiev clooek are not stopped. the catastrophic happenings cannot be avoided. >> president obama hosted german
chancellor angela merkel at the white house. wrestling with ways to turn up the heat on vladimir putin whilst not hurting german's economic ties to russia, trades amounting to $100 billion. >> a word on sanction, i agree with the american president. they are not an end in itself, but combined with an of of diplomatic solutions it's a necessary second component to show that we are serious about our principals. >> it is obvious to the world that the russian-backed groups are not peaceful protesters. they are heavily armed mill tans receiving support from russia. the ukranian government has the right to uphold law and order in its territory. russia needs to use influence so they disarticle and stop
provoking violence. >> the president touched on kidnapping of international observers and the approved $17 billion international monetary fund loan. the government in kiev demanded all the separatists in eastern ukraine lay down weapons and release hostages. is the ukranian government willing to do everything required to regain control of its eastern cities? is the russian government ready to back up its threats against the new government in kiev with more muscle from outside? could a miscalculation end up in real war in europe? that's this time on "inside story." joining us for that conversation from new york, david speedy, director of the programme on u.s. global engagement at the carnegie council for ethics, and
a professor from kiev, who teaches science at the national kiev academy. and george, director of the atlantic council's n.a.t.o. source. let me start with you david. watching the event as they have unfolded, what is russia up to? what are the near-term objectives. what is it trying to accomplish. >> i think what it's trying to accomplish are the interests and proper representation of the east, people of eastern ukraine. this is one of the situations that could have been avoided. russia has said not just under vladimir putin, but since the fall of the soviet union, russia has been concerned about the fate of 20 million russians, who find themselves outside the russian federation following the fall of the soviet union.
and i think that - for reasons i can elaborate later, i do not believe russia has knit interest in annexing eastern ukraine, and taking on the problems of that part of ukraine. >> george, as far as it goes, is david right - there is some concern in the russian government about russians who are overseas. >> it's not just concern. voout jup has stated that he feels the russian government has a right and responsibility to protect people. whether they are citizens, no matter where they are. >> and where does this end. do you agree that it doesn't necessarily mean that direct ukraine. >> i said this vladimir putin doctrine is perhaps the most dangerous statement we have seep. it gives an emboldened vladimir
putin to believe that we could move militarily. >> andreas, has it been a moving target for the new government in kiev to figure out what it is that russia wants, and what a longitudinally stable settle , something that lasts for a while would look like between countries. >> well, the problem, i think, is that russia doesn't want a stable ukraine. i think that the main motivation for vladimir putin to engage is domestic politics. he does not need democratic successful slavic country on his border. he needs an unavailable ukraine, because otherwise ukraine could be a counter model to his own system, and, thereof, he'll continue doing what he has been doing the last weeks.
>> you know, since november, since viktor yanukovych was chased out of the office, russian leaders of various official status said "well, we'd like to work things out with ukraine, but there's no lum mate government -- legitimate government, no one to talk to", come may 25th there'll be an election. will that be the end of the excuse. will russia talk to whatever was in carriage of kiev after the may elections? >> no, i think that page that is a bogus argument. there is legitimate government in power in kiev. it's true that the president is not - it's an interim president. but the constitutional order of you withdrawn is currently such that actuality the prime minister has most of the power, and russia is now doing
everything to prevent the elections on 25 may being successful because it needs the argument that the ukrainian leadership is not legitimate. and, unfortunately, also many people in the west buy this argument, in spite of the fact that the current government has been elected by the parliament of ukraine, with a larger majority, and that it is legitimate, that it is a fully functional government. >> david, what do you make of that argument from andreas, that the last thing that vladimir putin wants is a stable, successful democratic slavic country on his op border? >> -- own border? >> i disagree with my friend andreas. i don't believe vladimir putin is interested in taking hold a country which has one quarter the g.d.p. of
russia that has its own economic issues to deal with. what happened in maydan was a coup. it was the we were region said disbanding their local elected bodies, they refused to pay taxes, and essentially ses seeded from kiev at that point in time. elections in may are, at left, partial. you end up with a run off in the president shall election. >> where does that leave the people in terms of representation. and then the question of parliamentary elections. the presidential elections are the beginning. there's a refusal to contemplate elections which should be part and parcel. >> what about that, andreas, that this will not satisfy the people of eastern ukraine, the may 25th elections? >> well this is, indeed, a problem that there is no popular
ressie phone pol turn that could make it through the second round of the elections. the scrrn is such that in the first round of the elections, they may not happen in an orderly way. we have disorder in southern ukraine, odessa, and there is quite visible part of russia to prevent the elections from consolidating the russian state. we'll take a break, when we come back we'll talk with george about how the west and the united states played its hand. this is "inside story." >> al jazeera america presents borderland's dramatic conclusion >> no one's prepared for this journey. >> our teams experience the heart breaking desperation >> we're all following stories of people that have died in the desert. >> and the importance... >> experiencing it, has changed
>> on real money with ali velshi, a yearlong series, america's vanishing middle class... >> i'm on a mission, that i have to keep this business going... >> three families struggling every day >> we had to pull the whole retirement fund... >> real stories... real people... real advice... >> you need to pay the water bill, if you don't pay it, we're shutting your water off in a half hour >> how will you survive? >> the stakes are so high... >> america's middle class: rebuilding the dream on real money with ali velshi on al jazeera america welcome back to "inside story." i'm ray suarez. rising tensions and violence in the cities of eastern ukraine pulled the united nations security council back into
emergency session. the russian ambassador to the united nations called for a swift halt to all violence and drew a skeptical reaction from the other permanent five members, like france, whose ambassador accused moscow of releasing bands of thugs on ukraine. there was more criticism from the white house. george, with the german chancellor and the american president gave a news conference much how have the powers in the west been doing in countering the moves from moscow? >> the west has been doing too little, too late. most with criticisms and tiny sanctions. we need more than words and tiny sanctions. we need substantial economic cost put on vladimir putin for the violence and disruption that state. >> what is the leverage. russia is so rich in other things.
it's close to boning a self-sustaining -- being a self-sustaining place. >> russia is rich in resources but is not self-sustaining. it's dependent on selling resources to the world. if the west stopped buying russian resources, vladimir putin would have no money. >> why the his tags? >> there's reluctance because the president is unwilling to have a direct confrontation with vladimir putin, even though he pushes him and the west into the corner. >> if an outside power backed a government in mexico or canadament would there be a ladies and gentlemen -- canada. would there be a legitimate trt on the united states in pushing back against that move?
>> it depends on the tools. if political support is used we'd use political support. we are seeing political support is given it kiev, maydan and the government. instead of responding with political support, russia is responding with violence and invasion. >> david, in recent days, members of the russian government accused the ukrainian government of war mongering while russia puts armies on the ukranian border and accuses the ukranian government of provocation. as they send provocateurs into eastern ukraine to bolster the growing opposition forces in eastern ukraine. what is going on. repeatedly it looks like the president of russia is accusing
others slyly, almost with a doing. >> well, again, you use the term military forces in terms of the kiev government. that is right. armed militias were set up and came into the east. as far as i'm concerned as agent provocateurs. this went along with political moves where 19 new ministries - two were from the east. there has been a pattern of overlooking the interests and the representation of people from the east. one other thing here - that is that it's all portrayed as russia firmenting the issue. it is not russia, but the pro-russian elements. there is is banner in the streets saying we are not russians, and as everyone knows, ukraine was the cradle of slovak consideration, and there is a
sense of solidarity, and what this points to is a divided country between east and west. all the attention and acknowledgment from the e.u. and the united states is for the ukraine. >> is that a fair orves, has the ukrainian government not taken account the national sentiments, the real sentiments of large numbers of people living in the eastern part of its open country? i don't think so. i think it's the picture that russia is gig or trying to communicate to the west. in fact, there is now a language law in place which was criticised when adopted by the oece and the european union, that gives russians a special status in those regions where many speak russia and there is a large concern in kiev for the
interests of the russiansment there's a decentralisation programme coming from kiev, the counter government, and the -- current government. and the request for decentral esation is observed in a way, because the current government wants to decentralize the country and wants to strengthen the competences and perog ties of the cities and villages and so on. there is a soars concern in kiev for the interests of all minorities - not om of russians ukraine. >> a short break now. when we return, we'll talk about what ukraine will look like when the dust settles what will happen after the may 25th elections. are we
story." i'm ray suarez. the german chancellor angela merkel joined president obama at the white house for a joint news conference. during the question and answer session with reporters both leaders said more sanctions against russia would be forthcoming if ukraine's big neighbour did not stop interfering in the country's internal affairs. still with us for a look at the worsening situation, from new york. david, director of the programme at the carnegie council for ethics and international affairs. from kiev professor andreas taking at the kiev academy, and here in the studio george benites drog of the atlantic -- director of the atlantic council's n.a.t.o. source. i look at the video and wonder who are the guys is this some look like young fellows with not enough to do.
some are carrying weapons that you don't have around the house hunting birds and deer. they are waving not russian flags, but flags that carry old soviet iconography, hammers and sickles. portraits of stalin, who are these guys? >> a good question. again i refer to maydan, who were those guys - a motley crew. a crew seeking the right to self-determination and self-expression, protesting against basically decades of corrupt governments and thugs - no questions about it. the black balaklava brigade has been on both sides of the emission. both in maydan and kiev and in the donetsk and eastern ukraine. this is a situation. it's like mild days of going to soccer matches in yooup.
a couple of hundred people causing incredible violence and upheaval in stadiums of 30,000-40,000 people. that is what is happening here. it's a mixed bag. >> andreas, now that pannedora's box has been open, is there any way to get the guys go back to boring 9-5 jobs where they weren't taking over buildings, but doing something for modest pay in a roffin shall city in the ukraine. once they have tasted some of this life and risks, are they going to go back to work. >> i think the equation has to change for them, and currently they know that they have a powerful country behind them, russia and as long as they feel the support or alternative source of legitimacy
or support or power, they may continue behaving what they do now, they condition only speculate what the motivations are. i think the particular situation makes them do what they do. the surprising thing they do is why did the people live for 22 years in this country, and there was never anything like that in ukraine, not even in crimea. why did it all now happen, and i think the main reason is russia has been instigating it. >> this was george, a badly-run country since the break-up of the soviet union, it's not a place that started to unravel or become unstable. ukraine. >> i don't believe the west is afraid of owning it. ukraine was bad economically. what it did not have was the ethnic tension or violence among
the ukranian speakers. that existed. there was no crisis here. we are seeing a similar situation as what we saw in the balkans. during the cold war there was no ethnic tensions if vladimir putin s his agenda and his doctrine of "i will defend speakers no matter where they are", we see a lot of danger not just in ukraine, but central asia." are we lack looking at something that will take time to resolve. >> it's far from over. if the west do not help the kiev government, and if it does not restore order and have elections we'll see not just the russian conquest of ukraine, but also perhaps of moldova and aggression in central asia and the baltic republics. >> you were shaking your head. what do you hear that you didn't agree with?
>> just what andreased. the question rhetorical - how did it happen, why now. it lays the blame on russia. i point to the common denominate scror between maydan and eastern ukraine as being discontent with status quo, decades of bad government and including the orange revolution that took place with the backing of the west. people were fed up. fed up - they were fed up in donetsk. that's the common denominator. you can't lay it on russia. without disregarding the internal tensions within a profoundly divided and country with years, decades of administration. >> a quick response before we go, andreas. >> well, ukraine is a plural society.
it is not a monoethnic society. it is not deeply divided country. it has had, of course, always the separatists, but we have never seen anything like this particular kind of aggression and i do think that this is mainly coming from outside. we had, over the years in ukraine, again and again demonstrations and we had in 1990 the revolution in kiev. in 2004 the orange revolution, knew the euro maydan. this is domestic. what is happening in eastern ukraine and is now happening also in southern ukraine is clearly coming from outside. >> thank you all. that brinks us to the end of this ed -- brings us to the end of this edition of "inside story." thanks for being with us. in washington, i'm ray suarez.
>> observes are freed in the eastern ukraine as kiev is continuing the offensive against russia offenses. you shall watching al jazeera live from the headquarters. more than 2,000 are feared dead after a landslide in african. >> no release for the al jazeera a journalists being held in e gyp. a former child soldier goes home.